Building design today, and throughout the 20th century, has been significantly shaped by fire safety considerations. Architects today are familiar with the wide range of code requirements for a building to be compliant, from materials, to fire extinguisher locations, to fire-rated walls and doors. As buildings have become better-equipped to withstand fire emergencies, however, modern life has simultaneously increased the amount of fire hazards we live with.
One of the most important design considerations that residential architects have the responsibility to address is accessibility, ensuring that people with disabilities can comfortably live at home without impediments blocking basic home functionality. Accessibility for wheelchair users is a particularly important architectural concern due to unalterable spatial, material, and other requirements necessitated by wheelchair design and use. Because guaranteeing the comfort of all users, including disabled users, is one of the most essential obligations of all architects, designing for wheelchair users must be done with utmost the attention and care, especially in residential environments. Below, we delineate several strategies for designing floors for wheelchair circulation, helping architects achieve this goal of maximum comfort and accessibility.
Architecture is constantly changing and adapting to new needs, which are linked to social, economic, technological, political, and demographic changes. In this sense, the aging population is one of the most outstanding changes of the 21st century: The increase in life expectancy and the decrease in fertility rates mean that the older population is increasingly numerous. How can architecture help to provide a better quality of life, promote the autonomy, dignity, and well-being of the elderly?
Hospitals and projects related to healthcare must follow specific guidelines based on the rules and regulations of their country. These standards help us to design complex spaces, such as those located in areas of surgery, hospitalization, diagnostics, laboratories, and including areas and circulations that are clean, dirty, restricted or public, which create a properly functioning building.
There are a few spaces that we, as architects, can develop with great ease and freedom of design: waiting rooms, reception areas, and outdoor spaces. These are spaces where architects can express the character of the hospital. To jump-start you into this process, we have selected 43 projects that show us how creativity and quality of a space go hand-in-hand with functionality.
This renovation project by Peter Ebner and friends ZT GmbH is about the history of a place and changing tastes and times. It is about not needing a large scale to radically improve the space around. It is about the beauty and character of the city with its reflected sparkling life, gloomy evening sky, raindrops and lights of passing cars. It is about people who are mostly in a hurry, but who still sometimes stop for a few seconds to take note of a special, glittering room.
When the world undergoes major changes (be it social, economic, technological, or political), the world of architecture needs to adapt alongside. Changes in government policy, for example, can bring about new opportunities for design to thrive, such as the influx of high-quality social housing currently being designed throughout London. Technological advances are easier to notice, but societal changes have just as much impact upon the architecture industry and the buildings we design.
How many times have you been faced with the challenge of designing a cultural center? While this may seem like quite a feat, many architects have had to design a program that blends a community center with culture.
Among the projects published on our site, we have found numerous examples that highlight different responses, from flexible configurations to sites that prioritize central gathering areas for citizens and activities. See our series of 50 community centers and their plans and sections below.
The population’s aging phenomenon is occurring worldwide. We say phenomenon because all population pyramids are reversing, which means birth rates are steadily decreasing over the years, and at the same time, life expectancy has been increasing. Thus, the elderly population is growing at a faster rate than children.
According to IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), in 2017 there were more than 30 million people over the age of 60 in Brazil (14.6% of the population). To understand this growing demographic, let's take a look at other countries' statistics. Mexico's total population is about 28 million, the size of Australia's and New Zealand's combined population. We are talking about a demographic the size of a country.
New technological developments in construction have given architects great freedom when designing. Innovations in construction materials and their properties allow for the creation of increasingly original and surprising facades. The buildings constructed as a result can even inspire people to travel thousands of kilometers just to see these masterpieces. This week, we present 15 of most ground-breaking facades through photos by prominent photographers such as Paul Ott, Peter Bennetts and Laurian Ghinitoiu.